A large portion of the global population carries latent herpes simplex virus (HSV), which can periodically reactivate, resulting in asymptomatic shedding or formation of ulcerative lesions. Current anti-HSV drugs do not eliminate latent virus from sensory neurons where HSV resides, and therefore do not eliminate the risk of transmission or recurrent disease. Here, we report the ability of HSV-specific endonucleases to induce mutations of essential HSV genes both in cultured neurons and in latently infected mice. In neurons, viral genomes are susceptible to endonuclease-mediated mutagenesis, regardless of the time of treatment after HSV infection, suggesting that both HSV lytic and latent forms can be targeted. Mutagenesis frequency after endonuclease exposure can be increased nearly 2-fold by treatment with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. Using a mouse model of latent HSV infection, we demonstrate that a targeted endonuclease can be delivered to viral latency sites via an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector, where it is able to induce mutation of latent HSV genomes. These data provide the first proof-of-principle to our knowledge for the use of a targeted endonuclease as an antiviral agent to treat an established latent viral infection in vivo.
Martine Aubert, Emily A. Madden, Michelle Loprieno, Harshana S. DeSilva Feelixge, Laurence Stensland, Meei-Li Huang, Alexander L. Greninger, Pavitra Roychoudhury, Nixon Niyonzima, Thuy Nguyen, Amalia Magaret, Roman Galleto, Daniel Stone, Keith R. Jerome
Necrotizing fasciitis caused by group A streptococcus (GAS) is a life-threatening, rapidly progressing infection. At present, biofilm is not recognized as a potential problem in GAS necrotizing soft tissue infections (NSTI), as it is typically linked to chronic infections or associated with foreign devices. Here, we present a case of a previously healthy male presenting with NSTI caused by GAS. The infection persisted over 24 days, and the surgeon documented the presence of a “thick layer biofilm” in the fascia. Subsequent analysis of NSTI patient tissue biopsies prospectively included in a multicenter study revealed multiple areas of biofilm in 32% of the patients studied. Biopsies associated with biofilm formation were characterized by massive bacterial load, a pronounced inflammatory response, and clinical signs of more severe tissue involvement. In vitro infections of a human skin tissue model with GAS NSTI isolates also revealed multilayered fibrous biofilm structures, which were found to be under the control of the global Nra gene regulator. The finding of GAS biofilm formation in NSTIs emphasizes the urgent need for biofilm to be considered as a potential complicating microbiological feature of GAS NSTI and, consequently, emphasizes reconsideration of antibiotic treatment protocols.
Nikolai Siemens, Bhavya Chakrakodi, Srikanth Mairpady Shambat, Marina Morgan, Helena Bergsten, Ole Hyldegaard, Steinar Skrede, Per Arnell, Martin B. Madsen, Linda Johansson, INFECT Study Group, Julius Juarez, Lidija Bosnjak, Matthias Mörgelin, Mattias Svensson, Anna Norrby-Teglund
BACKGROUND. Children treated with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shunts to manage hydrocephalus frequently develop shunt failure and/or infections, conditions that present with overlapping symptoms. The potential life-threatening nature of shunt infections requires rapid diagnosis; however, traditional microbiology is time consuming, expensive, and potentially unreliable. We set out to identify a biomarker that would identify shunt infection.
METHODS. CSF was assayed for the soluble membrane attack complex (sMAC) by ELISA in patients with suspected shunt failure or infection. CSF was obtained at the time of initial surgical intervention. Statistical analysis was performed to assess the diagnostic potential of sMAC in pyogenic-infected versus noninfected patients.
RESULTS. Children with pyogenic shunt infection had significantly increased sMAC levels compared with noninfected patients (3,211 ± 1,111 ng/ml vs. 26 ± 3.8 ng/ml,
CONCLUSION. Elevated CSF sMAC levels are both sensitive and specific for diagnosing pyogenic shunt infection and may serve as a useful prognostic biomarker during recovery from infection.
FUNDING. This work was supported in part by the Impact Fund of Children’s of Alabama.
Theresa N. Ramos, Anastasia A. Arynchyna, Tessa E. Blackburn, Scott R. Barnum, James M. Johnston
Since 2011, over 300 human cases of infection, especially in exposed children, with the influenza A H3N2 variant (H3N2v) virus that circulates in swine in the US have been reported. The structural and genetic basis for the lack of protection against H3N2v induced by vaccines containing seasonal H3N2 antigens is poorly understood. We isolated 17 human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that neutralized H3N2v virus from subjects experimentally immunized with an H3N2v candidate vaccine. Six mAbs exhibited very potent neutralizing activity (IC50 < 200 ng/ml) against the H3N2v virus but not against current human H3N2 circulating strains. Fine epitope mapping and structural characterization of antigen-antibody complexes revealed that H3N2v specificity was attributable to amino acid polymorphisms in the 150-loop and the 190-helix antigenic sites on the hemagglutinin protein. H3N2v-specific antibodies also neutralized human H3N2 influenza strains naturally circulating between 1995 and 2005. These results reveal a high level of antigenic relatedness between the swine H3N2v virus and previously circulating human strains, consistent with the fact that early human H3 seasonal strains entered the porcine population in the 1990s and reentered the human population, where they had not been circulating, as H3N2v about a decade later. The data also explain the increased susceptibility to H3N2v viruses in young children, who lack prior exposure to human seasonal strains from the 1990s.
Sandhya Bangaru, Travis Nieusma, Nurgun Kose, Natalie J. Thornburg, Jessica A. Finn, Bryan S. Kaplan, Hannah G. King, Vidisha Singh, Rebecca M. Lampley, Gopal Sapparapu, Alberto Cisneros III, Kathryn M. Edwards, James C. Slaughter, Srilatha Edupuganti, Lilin Lai, Juergen A. Richt, Richard J. Webby, Andrew B. Ward, James E. Crowe Jr.
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